Jane examined the amber ball in her hand. The mosquito trapped inside it looked larger than the pesty flying insects she remembered. She noticed a change in Dr. Patel’s voice as he resumed speaking.
“My family comes from the state of Gujarat, in India.” He sounded pleasantly distant. “My people, the Gujarati — some people call us Guji — were some of humanity’s first explorers. Before the Greeks, before the Persians, Guji merchants traded from China to the Mediterranean. And to this day, people raised in Gujarat go to all corners of the earth — to conduct business, to find a place to earn a living, or just to see the world.”
He folded his arms behind his back, nodded in the direction of the amber ball in Jane’s hands. “We have a joke, in Gujarat. We are so accustomed to travelling such great distances, we say that no matter where you go, you can find the Guji — even places where there are no mosquitos.”
Jane looked up at Dr. Patel, a smile of recognition on her face. “So your father gave you this — ”
“To remind me of where I am from. Yes.”
Jane hummed pleasantly, placed the amber ball back on the shelf where she’d found it. She turned to the window. “Well here in Chicago, you certainly don’t have to worry about finding mosquitos. They find you.”